Senior Resident Magistrate Simeon Mdeza has cautioned the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to show seriousness in the case involving former minister of Agriculture George Chaponda, one of directors of Transglobe Rashid Tayub and Grace Mijiga-Mhango of Grain Traders Association.
Mdeza issued the warning during court proceedings in relation to the changes ACB made earlier to consolidate the cases and have them tried in Lilongwe, only to reverse the application.
“The State should take the case seriously and not throw in delaying tactics. Let’s be serious with the case. You have to make up your mind on the case,” he said.
ACB Principal Prosecution Officer, Macmillan Chakhala, said they have prepared charge sheet, and, are ready to proceed with the case.
Chakhala said the bureau reversed its decision to have the cases consolidated and relocated to Lilongwe because the defence vowed to object to the application, a development which, Chakhala said, was going to delay the case further.
“We filed the charge sheets Thursday at 4pm and we are ready to proceed with the case,” Chakhala said.
Mdeza then adjourned the case to January 8 2018.
However, both the State and defence objected to the duration of the adjournment arguing both parties are ready to begin trial of the case, a development which made the magistrate to call for both parties to the chamber to discuss the matter.
One of the defence lawyers, Jai Banda, said they have a problem with the case being adjourned for a long time.
“The second accused (Tayub) is suffering, his business is not operating as it ought to be, banks do not want to deal with him. The first accused would like to be vindicated,” he said.
Chakhala argued that the case has generated a lot of public interest and asked the magistrate to revise the duration of the adjournment.
“It is not a secret that this case has attracted a lot of attention. We took unprecedented attention to the case and we hoped to have the case in court from October 11 to 13 and October 16 to 20,” he said.
Meanwhile, the court has appealed to the appealed not to report on things that have been filed in court.
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